iPhone 4 protective case - The Otterbox Defender

iPhone 4 protective cases: I've written before about iPhone skins and related things like MacBook skins and MacBook protective cases and covers, but until now I've never done any research into iPhone protective cases and covers.

I thought about this yesterday when I bought a new iPhone 4, and the people at the store were trying to get me to buy an iPhone 4 protective case. To learn more about iPhone 4 protective cases I let them show me some of their products, and they were really big on an iPhone 4 case they kept referring to as "Otter", which is actually an "OtterBox".

Otterbox iPhone 4 protective cases

The way they said it, there are two models of the Otterbox iPhone 4 protective case: One that is actually a protective case, and another one that looks good.

The Otterbox iPhone 4 Commuter Series is the model they told me was just for looks, and they didn't recommend it at all.

The Otter iPhone 4 Defender Series is the model they strongly recommended, and the one I spent a little time looking at. This Otterbox iPhone 4 protective case has a clear plastic cover (a "touch screen membrane") for the front of the iPhone 4, a solid plastic/rubber case that covers most of the rest of the iPhone 4, interior felt linings, and cutouts for the speakers, mic, and cameras.

The interior felt lining is a nice touch. I was wondering if the case itself would scratch the iPhone 4, but the soft lining is meant to keep that from happening.

The Otter Defender series seemed pretty solid, and the salesperson even wrapped it on the counter several times to demonstrate how durable it is. While I personally thought their iPhone protective case made the iPhone 4 feel too large in my hand, one of the salespeople and another customer who walked in as I was buying my iPhone both had this Otter Defender model case, and recommended them. (This being Alaska, the customer had recently dropped her Otter-protected iPhone, and showed me that it all still worked just fine.)

iPhone 4 Otterbox protective case - Summary

While I don't want to scratch my iPhone, I don't think I want to buy one of these iPhone 4 Otter protective cases; they make the iPhone feel a little bit larger, which is a little bit too large for my tastes.

That being said, if you're looking for a protective case for an iPhone 4, other than that size complaint, which I've found with any iPhone case, the Otterbox Defender seemed like the nicest protective case they offered. In addition t their salesperson and the other iPhone 4 customer who swear by it, I just looked on Amazon.com, where more than 1,800 people gave the Otterbox Defender iPhone 3G/3GS protective case a 4.5 star rating, which is also excellent.